Tower City in Marseilles

By:  | March - 8 - 2010

Special Mention
2010 Skyscraper Competition

Deric Fourie, Dan Bernos, Michael Menuet, Pablo del Amo


Tower | city | towers is a city-towers project designed to give back to a land its natural dimension taking into account the constraints of the current city. Although it is conceivable on different kinds of lands, Tower | city | towers is here experienced in the city of Marseilles, second largest city of France located in the south-east. Port city of 240 km2, Marseilles and its suburbs constitute a metropolis of 1,600,000 inhabitants and has a current density of 3,500/ km2. The city has spread little by little by conquering the surrounding natural lands, the housing has scattered, becoming denser and denser, thus creating a disorganized, ultra-urban and totally artificial urban sprawl.

The Tower | city | towers project offers the opportunity to rethink all the functionalities, needs and demands of the city, especially in terms of population density and everything it involves (leisure activities, work, housing, transportation, etc.), thus allowing the nature to take back its original place.

The idea is to go back to the origin, allowing the pine-wood and the vegetation to grow again, making the rock reappear, offering the earth a deserved fallow-land, using the potential of lands conquered by the current city to give life to an alternative city which would offer an unequalled way of life and give back its place to nature.

Tower | city | towers suggests to deconstruct the existing city and build it on the sea in order to liberate the lands. It is not about putting forward a natural element instead of another but it is about inventing a system in harmony with nature as a whole. In Marseille, the sea is everywhere, offering a large range of possibilities, a new space to explore. This conquest takes into account the respect of the marine element as the construction is above – not in – the sea. Indeed, Tower | city | towers presents a set of raised modules constituting a city organized not in two but in three dimensions. The classical framework of a city is kept – streets, roads, inhabited buildings, green spaces, schools, transportation infrastructure – but fields and woods, as well as a direct connexion with the sea, are also offered to each inhabitant.

This project consists of a pragmatically and ambitious system which is compact and complete, thus enabling to obtain a new density. The city will no longer be, as it is today, a set of elements organized in a single plan but rather a set of modules laid out in a 3D structure. The city as it is today is simply positioned vertically and sustained by horizontal plans. And the life which starts organizing there allows, horizontally and vertically, to carry out the usual functions of a city : living, working, travelling, consuming, entertaining etc.

In order to allow the nature to reclaim its rights and thus to take part in an absolute environment-friendly action, Tower | city | towers modules are composed of recycling materials coming from the ruins of the former city. The project can thus be considered as a vital and incontrovertible alternative to handle the growing overpopulation and the announced and impending loss of natural resources.



One Response to “Tower City in Marseilles”

  1. […] by Deric Fourie, Dan Bernos, Michael Menuet and Pablo del Amo, the Tower City in Marseilles envisions the city of Marseilles as a stacked skyscraper that sits on water. The design calls for a […]

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